Tsumeb 2 Introduction


What is it about Tsumeb that captures ones imagination?

It is the captivating desciption of the discovery and development of the mine. But it is also, perhaps primarily, the uniqueness of its rich mineral diversity. This is due to several geological factors, one of which was the existence of three oxidation zones discovered during mining. Tsumeb offers one of the greatest varieties of mineral assemblages known.

Up to know, 242 species were found, plus 38 still unknown species. Of the 52 minerals discovered at Tsumeb, 40 are known to occur solely there. But not only the rare finds boast of superlatives. The crystallization of most minerals is so perfect and aesthetic that 65 species from Tsumeb display the finest crystals known from any deposit. Of these, 37 species have been found as spectacular, macroscopic crystals, unrivaled by any other locality.

Adding the "best of species" to the minerals unique to Tsumeb, would produce a total of 105 minerals qualifying for the world’s best for the species. Tsumeb pseudomorphs are also outstanding. They are represented by 65 different types, which is far ahead of all known mineral localities.

Many localities have produced specimens generally considered to be the finest of the species ever found. However, most of the localities are known only for one or two species of this qaulity. In contrary, Tsumeb exhibits more outstanding mineral specimens than most localities even contain minerals.These minerals provide a benchmark for every collector of minerals.


These impressive statistics may partly explain Tsumeb’s mineralogical fascination. But Tsumeb has more to offer than statistics. There were the constantly recurring, surprsing discoveries, which transfigured previouslyuninspiring minerals, Cinderella-like, into desirable objects, of which smithsonite is good example.

Tsumeb does not keep to set prescripts, as the wide variety of minerals shows. The presence of chemical components necessary for the formation of minerals was so plentiful and varied, that there are deviations in the composition of even simply structured minerals.

Tsumeb 2 contents